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Australian philosopher, literary critic, and professional writer. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Media reports on the "protect Assange" letter

The letter that I referred to yesterday is getting a fair bit of coverage, including in The Sydney Morning Herald and ABC News.

Once again, I am not necessarily opposed to Assange's extradition from the UK to Sweden to face allegations of some sort of coercive sexual conduct when he was in the latter country, and I do deprecate the widespread character assassination of the women concerned. Although I've read certain reports and opinion pieces, I have not formed any opinion on what he did or didn't do - I'm not a great lover of trial by media - let alone the rights and wrongs of it all. Perhaps I'll say more when I have a better grasp of the facts as the legal process continues (see below).

Important though this is, the larger issue in my mind is how he can be protected from having to submit to US criminal jurisdiction for separate issues relating to conduct committed when he was not in the US (and given that he is not an American citizen). In principle this could turn into another Hicks debacle.

At the moment, Assange has leave to appeal to the highest British court against his extradition to Sweden. I'll watch developments with interest.

3 comments:

stuart peace said...

Me too. I have to admit I am a little frustrated of the widespread interest that Assange is getting in the media, while the injustice of Manning goes largely unreported.

Mike said...

The collective cowardice of our political leaders speaking out on this issue has been bothering me for a long time. A non-US citizen conducting acts that are not illegal in the US on non-US soil.

And the sadder case of Manning who may end up being so mentally unhinged by his experience post-arrest that any testimony or defence is unlikely to have much to do with reality? Revolting.

So the West wins the cold war and engages in battle against religious tyrants in distant fields, but its political leaders adopt all the worst traits of its named enemies in the canon.

Svlad Cjelli said...

Of course. Sending him to Sweden is quite a different animal. What business is he of the U.S., disregarding business childish or sinister?